More than 50% of lessees occupying government land in suburban Mumbai have ignored the state’s new lease policy.
On Friday, the last day to respond to lease notices sent by the Collector, of the 129 plot owners, 35 have decided to buy the land, 12 have said that they will pay the renewed lease rents, 25 have raised objections to the policy, while 57 haven’t bothered to reply.
Hindustan Times had reported that 666 government plots in the city are due for lease renewal, of which many lessees are paying Rs 4,000 annually for occupying sprawling areas in prime locations.
The new policy gives lease owners options to buy the plots at discounted rates — 20% or 30% of the government-fixed ready reckoner rates (RRR) — or pay revised rents from 2% to 25% of the RRR, which is a hike of almost 1,500 times.
Framed in December 2012, the policy has been facing loud opposition from both activists and plot owners, with the former questioning why prime public land is being doled out at discounted rates and not at market value, and the lessees who have been occupying these plots for years saying the new rates are unaffordable.